Egyptian stock market picks up after Coptic Christmas, postponed Morsi trial

Egyptian stock market picks up after Coptic Christmas, postponed Morsi trial
Egyptian stock market

Egypt's stock exchange saw positive gains on Wednesday after Coptic Christmas celebrations and a session in the trial of former president Mohamed Morsi passed without incident.

The main EGX30 index rose 1.27 percent and the broader EGX70 index 0.88 percent as daily turnover reached LE713 million, the highest since the start of the new year.

The trial of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, scheduled for Wednesday morning, was postponed to 1 February due to bad weather, which made it unsafe to transport the defendant by helicopter from Wadi Al-Natroun prison on Egypt's north coast to Cairo.

The non-event was a relief for investors who were worried about possible violence from Morsi's supporters, vice-head of the securities division at Cairo's Chamber of Commerce Issa Fathy told Ahram Online.

The looming threat of sectarian violence during the Coptic Orthodox Christmas celebrations on 7 January had also kept investors' appetites muted, according to Fathy.

"The peaceful passing of the celebrations reflected to investors the state's ability to secure its people at a crucial time, which bodes well for security in the upcoming referendum," he said.

Egypt's transitional government is holding a popular referendum on the country's new draft constitution on 14 and 15 January, to replace the contested previous constitution of 2012.

At the EGX30, Cairo-based investment bank EFG-Hermes saw its share price leap by nearly 5 percent to LE9.34, following news of its sale of a floor in Dubai's Index Tower to Emirates REIT, in exchange for a 4.2 percent stake in REIT Fund, the first UAE real estate investment trust.

Market bellwether Commercial International Bank rose 0.18 percent to LE32.72 and Global Telecom Holding 1.05 percent to LE4.81.

Ezz Steel rose 2.73 percent to close at LE15.78.

In the real estate sector, Palm Hills Development Company gained 1.9 percent to trade at LE2.68, TMG Holding rose 1.9 percent 2.1 percent to trade at LE6.33, and Six October Development and Investment (SODIC) fell 0.62 percent to close at LE22.36.

Arab investors were the main net-buyers, to the value of LE15.6 million, while Egyptian investors were the main net-sellers.